Being a parent and grandparent in the third chapter of life

by | May 22, 2023 | Family | 14 comments |

As others posts pictures of their children’s college graduations—the entry into the second chapter of life—Keith and I are enjoying some third-chapter-of-life fruits.

I’ve written about finding purpose in the third chapter of life and some of the insights one gains through grandparenting. There are also opportunities to look back and remember our active parenting years and how relationships change as our children have children of their own.

This weekend, my college class of 1973 marks 50 years since our graduation in Massachusetts—without me. Our church in Virginia celebrates the Ascension, the choir one alto short, the flute microphone switched off, the woman behind the music stand missing, though Keith and I will watch the service later. We are in New Jersey celebrating my daughter’s and our granddaughter’s birthdays. Priorities. 

So, this week’s post is short, because we’re celebrating Third Chapter of Life blessings.

Link up with Five Minute Friday:


  1. aschmeisser

    Yeah, well.

    Never been a parent,
    never had need for a child,
    and for God this was apparent,
    and so He had me running wild
    through the stupid s***hole nations,
    gun in hand, grin on my face,
    needing no relations
    to find myself a state of grace,
    and perhaps these kids are mine,
    kids whose killers I have killed,
    and maybe it’s just really fine
    to do the stuff that God has willed,
    and even though I may be bent,
    I fought for the innocent.

    • Carole Duff


      • aschmeisser

        Carole, I respect you more than you may know, and it’s very important to me that you don’t see me as some kind of monster.

        I chose to fight for the weak, and with my friends, we did the best we could.

        I buried parts of beloved brothers, parts that I could find, and that I had time to interr.

        Please think kindly upon us, and know that, cancer notwithstanding, I would go out again.

        Barb has my go-bag packed. We are a team.

        • Carole Duff

          It is clear you have lived the life you were meant to live, to fight the good fight. My husband Keith was an intelligence analyst and saw things no one would ever want to see. A monster? No, but one who was called to battle them. In that regard, we are also a team. God bless you!

          • aschmeisser

            Tears in my eyes, Carole. Thank you.

  2. Lee Ann L.

    I’ve never been a parent and grieved for years. I’ve watched my sister-in-laws transitioning from parents to empty nester. And, it wasn’t easy for either one of them. One sister-in-law is currently grieving over the fact she most likely will not become a grandmother due to decisions her children made to remain childless. I feel for her as she loved being a mother (and was a good one) and looked forward to having grandkids.

    • Carole Duff

      Oh Lee Ann, this kind of “No” is SO hard. How kind of you to abide with your sister-in-law, especially with your own grief.

  3. K.L. Hale

    What a beautiful picture, C.D. 💛 I’m happy you’re enjoying the third chapter. God bless you all!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, dear Karla!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, my friend!

  4. dawnfanshawe

    There is something very beautiful and peaceful about this third chapter – is it perhaps the seasoned wisdom of knowing how to listen to the Lord and not try to be general manager of the universe? Congratulations – blessed priorities. Enjoy. Dawn #25

    • Carole Duff

      Dear Dawn,

      You’ve captured the essence of life’s third chapter: harvest after years of striving. The autumnal season is about waiting, listening, and humbling ourselves. Blessings!



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